The innovation-packed CLT wall received approval using an alternate means process and carefully considered fire protection, shear capacity, constructability, aesthetics and design requirements. This meant the warmth and beauty of the wood could be left exposed while achieving rigorous safety and energy-efficient targets.
The future is wood
Why next-generation cities are turning to wood
Climate change and its associated effects may be a global challenge, but there is a role for local municipalities and districts to reduce their immediate impacts—whether it’s wildfires, flooding or finding low carbon construction alternatives. In response, cities and towns across British Columbia are turning to light-frame wood and mass timber design and construction.
Wood construction is a central component of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) housing strategy for British Columbians. Thirteen BC communities have signed on as early adopters of mass timber for taller wood building. At the provincial level, mass timber is being encouraged as part of its capital construction programs, particularly in the development of healthcare facilities and the expansion or replacement of public facilities such as the Royal BC Museum.
Just this past summer, the City of Vancouver made amendments to allow mass timber construction up to 12 storeys for residential and commercial uses, doubling the current height allowance for wood from 6 storeys. As the City points out, this will make it easier to build with low carbon materials, support housing affordability, and remove barriers for the construction industry at a time of crisis and economic recovery. Surrey, the province’s fastest-growing city, continues to make timber central to its infrastructure expansion and urban design. Along with more than 50 other municipalities, it was an early adopter of the Province’s Wood First initiative that recognizes wood’s social, environmental and economic benefits and makes it the material of choice for public buildings.
Photo and images | Top left: Brock Commons Tallwood House, Photographer KK Law | Top right: The Heights, Photographer Raffi Karakouzian, courtesy Cornerstone Architecture | Bottom: Rendering of Clayton Community Centre, courtesy HCMA Architecture & Design